Film Review: The Hobbit

Film Review: The Hobbit

When Peter Jackson announced that he had begun preproduction on “The Hobbit,” it came as no surprise. Jackson made 3 amazing films out of the Lord of the Rings, and there was no way anyone else would be brave enough to adapt The Hobbit, at least without Jackson’s blessing or watchful eye. The release has not gone without controversy, the fact that it’s being split into 3 films – the fact that it was filmed in 3D and at 48 frames per second. All I cared about was, despite having a few so-so follow ups to his amazing trilogy, does Jackson still have it?

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Film Review: The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn

Film Review: The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn

The original book series, ‘The Adventures of Tintin’ by Hergé was one of my favorite books growing up. Borrowed constantly from the library and read cover to cover, I always wanted to see a big screen adaptation of Tintin. But alas, Tintin’s heyday was far behind us, and even still, the series, at least in my time was never very popular. Mentioning it only brought the response, “You mean that show with the dog? Rintintin?”

When it was announced that Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg were going to be bringing the stories to life in a feature, it was a no brainer. One of my other favorite characters growing up was Indiana Jones, whose adventures, despite being inspired by the old Republic serials, had to be also inspired by Tintin’s adventures.

‘The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn’ is the first in a series of films being produced by Spielberg and Jackson. It stars Jamie Bell as Tintin, and Andy Serkis as Captain Haddock. The script really merges a few elements from the various books into one complete story.

Tintin, a well known reporter, comes across a model ship at an outdoor flea market. Purchasing it from the vendor, he instantly is offered money by a mysterious American, who warns him of the trouble behind the ship, as well as by a man we come to know as Sakharine (Daniel Craig).

When he takes the ship home, an accident causes the ship to fall, releasing from the ship a small scroll, that holds a strange paragraph. Tintin’s journalistic instincts take hold, as he investigates the interest in his model ship.

The investigation eventually leads him to Captain Haddock, a mostly drunken Sea Captain whose family background ties into the secret of the Unicorn, and the two combine their efforts and become fast friends on their adventure.

The film captures the spirit of the books completely. Even to the point where I completely forgot where the lines of the different books they combined were. Also great are the characters of Thompson and Thompson (played by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost), hopefully the next film features these characters more prominently.

I’m not the biggest fan of motion capture, or 3D, but I thought the animation looked great. Not so realistic looking that it begged the question, “why do it this way,” and not so fake that it looked like a Veggietales film. One of my favorite parts of the film was a street artist in the opening scene sketching Tintin. The resulting portrait is literally a Tintin as drawn by Hergé.

While many who aren’t familiar with Tintin might not enjoy the film, it is easily accessible to all ages. It’s a fun, unique family film, that for once, does the source material great justice.

Tintin Posters & Teaser Released!

Tintin Posters & Teaser Released!

I’d been worried about this one. For so many reasons. Tintin has been a favorite of mine since I was a kid. I’d read ALL the books, and recently gotten the box set of them as a gift. Them getting feature film treatment was something I’d always wanted to see, and I was glad that it was in the hands of expert filmmakers like Steven Spielberg & Peter Jackson.

I’m thrilled at the trailer. Though giving very little away, seeing the characters moving gives me a lot of hope. The characters have always looked cartoony, and they are rendered with a lot of style, and not the “well what was the point of that” motion capture CGI that we’ve seen of late.

Check out the international and US posters below, and the teaser over at Apple.com.

Review: District 9

Review: District 9

District 9I’ve heard a lot about ‘District 9,’ from amazing to overrated. ‘District 9’ is a project that came out of the defunct ‘Halo’ film that was supposed to be produced by Peter Jackson, and directed by Neill Blomkamp. Based on Blomkamp’s sci-fi short, Alive in Joburg, ‘District 9’ is a very original, extremely entertaining sci-fi film.
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Tintin Release Date

It is official, Paramount and Sony have announced the official release schedule of the first Tintin movie, “The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn”  being directed by Steven Spielberg. The film will be released December 23, 2011, after being released internationally in late October/early November.

The film stars Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot) as Tintin, Daniel Craig as the villain Red Rachkam, Andy Serkis as Captain Haddock, and a slew of other great actors.

The film has been in production since January of 2009, and is going to be much like the Zemeckis 3D motion capture films. The second film will be directed by Peter Jackson, who is also a producer, and depending on the success of the film, possibly a third.

The character of Tintin comes from the graphic novels written by Hergé, the story spans 24 books. The first book was published in 1929. Tintin is an international series, with over 200 million copies being sold worldwide, and translated into 70 different languages.

Spielberg & Jackson Talk “Tintin”

In a video taped for some sort of comic convention in Europe, we have the first look at Steven Spielbeg and Peter Jackson talking about the upcoming “Tintin” project.  Both Spielberg and Jackson appear in the video, wearing bowler hats a la the Thompson Twins, and talk a little about the upcoming movie.  You want to check it out, click here.

Word on the project is quiet at the moment, but from what I understand, Spielberg has either wrapped or is close to wrapping his production of the first film.  Production now heads to New Zealand where WETA will take over and begin the animation process.  (Spielberg will check in on-line and not make the flight.)

“The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn,” is scheduled for release in 2011.

Tintin Has Been Cast

Tintin Has Been Cast

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There is more exciting news about the upcoming Tintin movie, based, of course, on the popular Belgian comic book character.  The movie started shooting on Monday, and there has been some announcements made about casting. [Read more…]

Tintin To Begin Shooting in Two Weeks

Tintin To Begin Shooting in Two Weeks

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According to Andy Serkis, (who will be playing the role of Captain Haddock,) the 3D Peter Jackson produced and Steven Speilberg directed movie will begin shooting in two weeks.

Here’s what Serkis told Coming Soon about the books about the famous Belgian boy reporter: “I remember reading them as a child. I wasn’t this massive fan. I loved the almost storyboard nature of the beautiful, beautiful drawings. And the way its going to be done… It’s obviously performance capture so it’s is going to be perfect. There isn’t a more perfect way of doing it.”

There has been no casting news with regards to the lead character.  We expect to hear something soon.  -Sam

Tintin Casting News Released

Tintin Casting News Released

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In what is one of my more anticipated movies of 2009/2010, (probably ’10 given the production delays,) there is some word on casting in Steven Spielberg’s Tintin movie.  (Don’t forget Peter Jackson will be doing the second film with a director yet to be announced to do number three.)

First off, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost of ‘Shaun of the Dead’ and ‘Hot Fuzz’ fame have been cast to play the Thompson Twins.  The rumor had been going around for months, but it’s now finally been confirmed.  Also, Jackson regular Andy Serkis will be playing Captain Haddock.  You will recall that Thomas Sangster had been cast as Tintin, but he has supposedly dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.

So, a new Tintin needs to be cast as well as Snowy.  That said, these names just announced has me excited to see this movie just a little bit more.  -Sam

Paramount to Fund 100% of ‘Tintin’

Paramount to Fund 100% of ‘Tintin’

The Adventures of TintinDeadline Hollywood Daily is reporting that Paramount has stepped in to completely take over financing the Spielberg/Jackson produced ‘Tintin’ trilogy. The move comes after the two directors submitted a $130 million dollar budget to produce the three films. [Read more…]